I saw Nathan run!

by Luke, in Nepal
24th November, 2009

Big, big, big news – Nathan ran. The rest of us were astounded but I can confirm that witnessing this was up there with being on a remote mountain top in the Himalayas treating yaks. I rate Nathan hugely but he has acquired yet another nickname this trip – ‘sloth’ – due to the fact he has been moving at the speed of a lame snail and has been feeling a little ‘tired’. Poor chap. But he was in the zone and actually ran about twenty metres. It was like watching a baby bird take its first flight – or so I would imagine – but without the feathers – almost miraculous.

The day has been hardcore – the helicopter was with us which always adds a bit of edge to things. Once again the radios didn’t work so we had to wing it and the added extra was that due to high winds, aerial filming after 11am wasn’t going to happen. With a one and a half hour off-road drive up a mountain side to conquer before we were even close to the yaks I was going to treat (the bit the guys wanted to film), it was an early start to say the least.
It was also a bit stressful as the yaks weren’t having any of it to start with and Marc and I exchanged a few choice words as I explained we needed to herd them into a makeshift stone coral and running up a mountain, carrying a 35kg bag at 4,500m was leaving me a little short of breath. Marc had sweated blood and guts into making this happen so wasn’t best pleased that things weren’t going all too smoothly to start with. We did manage to get it nailed though and it turned out to be a brilliant day. Marc and I are still talking – now I have my breath back – and all is sweet. The yaks are also fine and are awesome animals – incredibly well adapted to surviving in such a harsh environment. They actually have an extra pair of ribs than cows which allows for bigger lungs, a massive heart and greater oxygen capacity at such a high altitude (50% less oxygen up here than at sea level apparently).
Joy of joys is that we have to do it all again tomorrow as the helicopter is going to have another crack in Pokhara where it’s a lot lower and things are a bit safer. Rock on.

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